Q: When one is executing a steeple cast [a high backcast in close quarters], is only a short amount of line typically utilized? Also, I’m wondering if a false cast is even an option with this technique.
Dr. Richie Parsons
A: The conventional method of making a steeple cast begins with the thumb behind the handle, away from the water. Since the line will go in the direction the rod tip stops, this limits the height of the cast because the rod tip is traveling toward the trees that you don’t want to snag.
A much better method is to raise the forearm while turning the rod hand inward and down. Before the cast, the elbow should be even with or higher than the head, with the rod hand well below the chin. The thumb is behind the handle, away from the direction you want to make a backcast. Touch the rod tip to the surface to make a full rod stroke. In this position, if the rod tip stops in the desired direction, it is possible to make even a vertical cast.
The amount of line that can be utilized is dependent upon the caster’s using the suggested method and the distance between the obstruction and the caster. The farther from the barrier the caster is and the lower the obstruction is, the more line that can be handled. When you’re surf fishing with some dunes well behind, it is possible to cast a long line. If you’re in a narrow mangrove creek where the cast must be made nearly vertically, a little more than a rod length of line can be used – and false casting deteriorates the cast.